FIFA tells Wales that fans can wear rainbow hats in stadiums

WCup US Wales Soccer
Wales fans cheer ahead the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
WCup US Wales Soccer
Fans cheer ahead the World Cup, group B soccer match between the United States and Wales, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
WCup England Iran Soccer
An England fan wearing a rainbow shirt sits in the stands prior to the start of the World Cup group B soccer match between England and Iran at the Khalifa International Stadium in in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 21, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The Welsh soccer federation said FIFA has offered assurances that fans wearing rainbow symbols will be allowed at Friday's World Cup game against Iran.

The federation had asked FIFA for clarity on reports some Wales fans were stopped from taking rainbow bucket hats and flags into the team’s World Cup opener against the United States on Monday.

“FIFA has confirmed that fans with Rainbow Wall bucket hats and rainbow flags will be allowed entry to the stadium,” the Welsh federation posted Thursday to social media.

The Rainbow Wall is Wales' LGBTQ supporters' group.

The federation added that all World Cup venues have been “contacted and instructed to follow the agreed rules & regulations.”

FIFA confirmed that it has been in contact with the Welsh federation and reiterated the long-standing guarantees from the Qatari authorities that LGBTQ symbols would be allowed into the eight World Cup stadiums. However, the governing body has no authority over stadium security, which is controlled by the local organizing committee.

Rainbow imagery, a symbol of LGBTQ rights, is frowned upon in a country where same-sex relations are criminalized.

In April, a senior Qatari security official overseeing tournament preparations suggested fans carrying rainbow flags could have them removed to protect them from possible attacks.

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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